The Ballad of Reading Gaol was the poet and writer Oscar Wilde's final work. From celebrated playwright and society figure to a broken man dying in exile in Paris, Reading Gaol is a heartrending exploration of the deprivation of liberty, a spectacular fall from grace and a soul-searching quest to hold onto the shreds of humanity during one man's darkest hour. 

This adaptation of Reading Gaol uses the power and grotesque beauty of Wilde's words to tell the story of the punishment and deprivation experienced by prisoners at the turn of the century in direct contrast to the wit and triviality of some of his comedic work.  Featuring Wilde's original poem about the execution of a convicted solider remixed with five brand new pieces of writing commissioned for this production, we plunge headlong into the abyss of incarceration, despair and hope experienced by five prisoners in one of England's most notorious jails. 

Proforça Theatre Company presents a visceral new staging of Oscar Wilde's haunting and evocative piece which explores oppression, censorship, and conformity in an increasingly conservative society with themes which are as relevant to us in our world today as they were over 100 years ago. We are delighted to be returning for our second set of performances at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town following our performances of "The Importance of Being Earnest" this past September as part of our "Project Wilde" sequence of productions. 

"For each man kills the thing he loves, yet each man does not die..."

Running Time: 80 Mins (approx), no interval.
Contains Adult Themes & scenes of violence.  


Monster : Timothy Blore
Wanderer : Ross Kernahan
Innocent : Jonathon Cooper
Human: Myles Delahunty
Hero: James Baxter-Derrington

All other roles played by members of the cast


Written By : Oscar Wilde as C-3-3
Additional Material By:  Catrin Jones, Harriet Lambert, James Lewis, and Erin Read. 

Directed By : David Brady
Assistant Director / Movement : Harriet Lambert
Assistant Director : Erin Read
Producer: Catrin Keeler
Executive Producers: David Brady, Martina Schøning

Production Design : Proforca Creative
Technical Manager: TBC

Marketing Design:  Proforca Creative

Production / Rehearsal Photo Credits: Brittain Photography  / Proforca Theatre Company

Rehearsal Facilities: Theatre Delicatessen, Arch 468, So & So Streatham. 

Accountancy Services : Jodie McDermott, mca group ltd. 


Chris Moore, Chris Mellor and the staff at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Jason Parry, Emma Dodwell-Groves, Alasdair Melrose.